Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, July 6, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 5



Mountain Views-News Saturday, July 6, 2019 

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc


What could be more American than 
a Hot Dog, so why am I writing about 
Pastrami, read on my loyal readers. My 
late Pappy always told me, “Son, never 
debate sex, politics or religion. I am 
going to have to add one additional item to his list, a Sandwich/Dip. You probably couldn’t go 
more than a couple blocks in most cities and not come across one, an American Sandwich Shop. 
It may be the most versatile food item ever created. I eat them for lunch, dinner and sometimes, 
even for breakfast. We are lucky for in the San Gabriel area we have a number of All-Stars 
sandwich shops to choose from. There is Tops on Walnut, Connel’s Grinders on E. Washington, 
and The Hat, which has several locations. The Hat has been around since 1951, and I glad to 
say, it is a family run business. They are actively involved in the community, and that fact was 
fully demonstrated to me when Ron “Corky” Conzonire held the position of President of the 
Tournament of Roses, from 2008-2009.

The Pastrami Sandwich or “Dip,” as the menu proffers, is the Hat’s signature dish. Sure, they 
have burgers, hot dogs and salads, but the menu item that keeps them coming back is the 
“Pastrami Dip.” It is a World Famous plunge of sandwich into au jus. I am planning on a trip 
to South America next month and I am going to ask everyone I meet, about LA’ based World 
Famous Dishes. I’m just kidding… a little. But, I do develop a chuckle in that self anointed 
phrase. The World Famous Pastrami Sandwich is priced at a reasonable ($7.99). The meat is 
thinly sliced and the portion is generous. The bread is light and fluffy; it may be a little too light 
and fluffy in my opinion. For my next visit I will try it on regular sandwich bread. My sources 
inform me that the Hat goes through 14 tons of Pastrami per week. By my calculations, that is 
a lot of sandwiches. My dining companion “Mike” had the Hot Dog and a huge portion of fries 
.He is on a diet it appears. The prices are right at The Hat, everything is under ($10). If you 
haven’t checked it out, you will love the Dip. For the location near you, they have a slick web 

Happy 4th of July post weekend. Listen to my new podcast on Itunes !!! 

Before I get to this week’s article, I’d like to 
send a big shout out to any frequent readers 
who may be wondering where the heck I’ve been for the past two and a half months. Since January, 2011 
I’ve had an article in this column weekly, without a break, so I’d hoped to write a friendly farewell before 
vanishing off the face of the page back in April, but my busy calendar got the best of me.

As I am sure you’ll agree, when or if it becomes necessary to make a choice, my kitty and canine clients 
should and will take priority over writing these articles, but I must say that as much as I love spending 
time with my four-legged friends, I have missed this means of touching base with my paper-reading pals.

I intend to continue writing as time will allow, though my stories may appear more sporadically than 
they do weekly. For this reason, I encourage you always to check the Best Friends page so as not to miss 
any Happy Tails that may come your way. It pleases me if there are folks out there who enjoy this column. 
And if so, I am sure it is because they love the animals, and any friend of the animals is a friend of mine. 
So without further ado, Here’s a Happy Tail just for you.


For a few years I have helped care for two adorable King Charles Cavalier Spaniels who reside in the 
Eaton Canyon community. The two sweet fluff-muffins I refer to are named “Bailey” and “Scarlet“ and 
they belong to the Spensiero’s, a delightful family of four who adore their dogs more than most. It is such 
a pleasure to pet sit for this neat, sweet family and so many other clients I have like them, because they 
totally ‘get’ what goes into good pup parenting and they appreciate what goes into being a good sitter and 
walker as well.

The reason I bring up the Spensiero’s and their precious pups is the fact that I was at their home just 
last week, and during my 5-day overnight stay while they were away I had the pleasure of seeing an 
inordinate number of wild critters - both great and small - scampering about as I made my way to and 
from their hidden niche. For those less familiar, I’m talking about the neighborhood located along the 
hilly crest tucked between New York Drive (to the west) and the Eaton Canyon Golf Course (to the east).

There are some unique features in that area that make it a perfect place for human-wildlife cohabitation, 
not the least of which is an attitude of responsibility that I sense prevails among the residents who 
live there. I get the feeling those folks know how to show respect and leave space between themselves 
and the animals that frequent their roadsides and their yards on a daily basis. The fact is, I think most 
foothills locals try to be good stewards on behalf of the animals, at least those of us who understand the 
importance of spatial respect and how it can affect nature‘s symbiotic balance. That is my hope, anyway.

So, I’m hanging out with a couple of pups over in Eaton Canyon and as part of my pet sitting duties, I get 
up early each morning to let the dogs out into the back yard so they can relieve themselves. By virtue of 
experience, I have developed a healthy habit of making some kind of noise before letting them out in the 
early morning hours, as there is likely to be a coyote, a big cat or a bear out there, and one of my mottos 
just happens to be “better safe than sorry“!

In keeping with my usual routine, I clapped my hands nice and loud before I opened the door all the way 
and walked the girls out, but what I didn’t look for, nor did I expect to see in the wee hours that morning, 
was an enormous red tail hawk right there, nearly eye level in the air, the very moment we got out into the 
wide-open grassy part of the yard. I mean that bird swooped down so fast in an apparent effort to catch 
his prey for the day, it took my breath away.

I was taken quite by surprise when out of that proverbial left field, and into my peripheral view, suddenly 
appeared a huge, hungry bird, flying so low I thought it might swipe my face with the tip of it’s massive 
wing! That thing meant business, no doubt about it. It seemed to have parted the sky as it flew by, and I felt 
a breeze come over me from the velocity of it’s flight. Even Bailey and Scarlet took note of something they 
sensed in their air space. They both paused and peeked over their little shoulders as if to acknowledge 
whatever it was, but the bird passed through too quick to see, so they both resumed their quest to find 
the best spot to go pee.

It was a remarkable moment for me. Honestly, I felt honored to have been in such close proximity to a 
preying hawk in flight. Although I do believe it was a very close call indeed for little Bailey and Scarlet, 
and for that reason, it was also somewhat of a wake up call for me, or what I like to think of as a notable 
moment of enlightenment.

I mean, I’ve always known there are birds of prey in our area, and I do know they feed on small critters 
such as rats, moles and the like, 
but before that morning at the 
Spensiero’s last week, it had 
not occurred to me that a wild-
winged wonder such as a red tail 
hawk might pose a legitimate 
threat to the safety of my furry 
four-legged friends. It is not a 
lesson I take lightly. I now vow 
to stay vigilantly aware of what 
could be lurking out there, both 
on the ground and in the air. 
I will be sure to look up and 
down before letting my furry 
little friends go futzing around 
outdoors, even in their own back 

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